NEW YORK (AP) – Shortstop Adeiney Hechavarria and second baseman Tim Beckham watched Gary Sanchez’s playable grounder bounce between them on the left side of the infield for a tying single with two outs in the ninth inning, Brett Gardner homered leading off the 11th, and the New York Yankees beat the Tampa Bay Rays 6-5 Thursday night for their fourth straight win.
Gardner tripled to the left-center wall off Alex Colome leading off the ninth, but the closer appeared to pitch out of trouble. With the infield in, Clint Frazier hit a soft grounder to third and AL home run leader Aaron Judge flied to short right.
With Beckham shifted to the third-base side of second, Sanchez hit a two-hopper between Hechavarria and Beckham, but the two infielders looked at each other as the ball bounced into the outfield and Gardner came home. Didi Gregorius followed with an inning-ending grounder.
Gardner then homered, his career-high 18th, on a 1-1 pitch in the 11th from rookie Andrew Kittredge (0-1), who lost in his first big league decision. The Yankees are on their longest winning streak since a six-game spurt from June 7-12.
Aroldis Chapman (3-1) needed just 19 pitches to strike out four over two innings – including three in a row in the 11th – his longest outing since last year’s World Series.
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